Since the advent of Invisalign, braces have become a popular orthodontic treatment for people of all ages. A 2014 survey found that 1.5 million American and Canadian adults have braces.

What was once a horrific ordeal many of us suffered through during our most awkward years is now a relief for adults who wish to straighten their smiles. The variety of types of adult braces means there is something to suit everyone.

In fact, the number of adults in the U.S. with braces increased 40 percent between the years 1989 and 2012. Since then it has only continued to grow.

Doesn’t everyone deserve the confidence that comes with straight teeth? The self-esteem that comes from improving one’s appearance can extend to an increase in our overall sense of life satisfaction.

When we feel good about ourselves, we’re more likely to go after what we want. We are more inclined to pursue opportunities we otherwise thought were out of our reach. We live happier lives.

If you’re ready to give yourself the confidence boost you need to take your life to the next level, it’s time to figure out which types of braces are right for your oral health. Keep reading to learn more.

Aligners: Let’s Get Invisible

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard of the revolutionary invisible braces called Invisalign. Adults love them because they don’t draw attention, and they’re removable. You can take them off to eat and brush.

Invisalign aligners are mostly invisible. If someone is speaking directly to your face, they may notice the plastic coverings over your teeth. But for the most part, you can go about your life without anyone knowing you have braces.

There’s no pain, no adjustments, and no food stuck in metal brackets. The downside is they take longer to improve your smile. Braces that are attached to your teeth are able to straighten them faster.

If you want something low maintenance and you don’t mind waiting a few extra months or years (depending on how often you wear them) for the full effect, Invisalign might be a great choice for you.

Traditional Metal Braces: Tried and True

Conventional braces have always been the standard in orthodontia. But over the years, they’ve become less popular because of how visible and high maintenance they can be.

Still, they remain the most effective and efficient method of straightening teeth. These days metal braces are more advanced and don’t require you to wear elastic bands on each and every tooth.

Metal braces aren’t as attractive as clear braces, but they get the job done. If you can get past the aesthetics of metal braces, they are worth it.

Adults especially benefit from the high pressure and tension of metal braces. Their jaws are much less malleable than children and require more force to realign them.

Lingual Braces: Turn It Inside Out

Lingual braces are gaining popularity in their own right as well. Lingual braces are metal like traditional braces, but inside out.

The orthodontist applies lingual braces to the inside of your teeth. That means they are far less visible than conventional braces.

Having braces behind your teeth can be uncomfortable for some people. The braces will come into direct contact with your tongue, whereas traditional braces will not. In addition, lingual braces are a bit pricier than other braces.

They can also be trickier to clean. But, you really should get good at brushing the backs of your teeth anyway, right?

Finally, lingual braces take a little bit longer than traditional metal braces to straighten teeth. But again, if what you want is braces that aren’t obvious, then lingual braces are a great option for you.

Ceramic Braces: Like Camouflage For Teeth

Ceramic braces are nearly identical to conventional metal braces. The only difference is they are made out of ceramic instead of metal.

The benefit of ceramic braces is that they blend in with your teeth. You can actually get them colored to match the shade of your teeth so they blend in even better. They’re as close to tooth camouflage as braces can get.

Even better, ceramic braces are equally as effective and efficient as traditional metal braces. They will correct your teeth in the same amount of time, but you won’t feel like you have to display the fact that you’re straightening your smile.

A lot of adults who need the pressure and tension of traditional braces to effectively straighten their teeth prefer ceramic braces to traditional metal braces.

It’s important to take into consideration that ceramic braces are more expensive than traditional braces. They also require a little more care because they can stain. So stay away from the coffee and brush your teeth often.

Self-Ligating Braces: Clip-On Classics

The self-ligating braces are another type of orthodontic appliance that is very similar to conventional braces. The main difference between metal braces and self-ligating braces is that self-ligating braces use clips instead of elastic bands.

The clips create less friction against the braces than traditional elastic bands do. They’re also easier to keep clean. But they are just as visible as metal braces.

Self-ligating braces work very similarly to conventional braces. They are often equally efficient and effective. They also offer slightly more control because of the use of clips.

Again, self-ligating braces are a little more pricey than metal braces.

How Long Will I Have to Wear Braces?

The amount of time you have to keep your braces on depends on how much straightening your teeth require. The average length of time people spend in braces is between a year-and-a-half and just under two years.

If you go with aligners instead of the more efficient types of braces, you can expect to wear them longer than two years. The more consistently you wear them, the shorter your time in aligners will be.

If you start with aligners, you can switch to a different type of braces after a few months. Sometimes it helps to get things started and then switch partway through the treatment.

Best Types of Adult Braces

The best types of adult braces for efficient smile correction are conventional braces, ceramic braces, and self-ligating braces.

If you’re willing to wear your braces a little bit longer as long as they’re invisible, try aligners or lingual braces.

Looking for an orthodontist in Hyannis? Schedule a consultation with Arch Orthodontics today and get the gorgeous, confident smile you deserve!